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Old 09-25-13, 08:04 PM   #1
sreten
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When your chain needs lubing (and cleaning)

Hi,

This isn't for the obsessive types, quite the opposite.

I've noticed a few things for when my chain needs lubing,
and if any of them apply IMO you should lube your chain :
(and your derailleur pulleys if applicable)

Generally in order of things getting worse :

1) It starts to makes more noise than nice and quiet
2) The cranks don't spin backwards as easily
3) Spinning backwards moves the derailleur cage

(Things carry on getting worse with no lube ...)

Some of this can be muck as well, I guess I attempt some cleaning
with WD40 as well as lubing 1 out of 2 or 1 out of 3 times depending
on the weather and what ground I've been riding through recently.

Spate of wet weather recently, and my folder went from 1) to 2)
without making the level of noise I'd normally lube it in good
weather, that avoids 2) happening. Live and learn I guess.
First really bad weather patch I've ridden it through.
Bike is covered in crap. The chain is oily pristine.

Keep your chain lubed .......

rgds, sreten.
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Old 09-25-13, 10:57 PM   #2
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Old 09-26-13, 07:26 AM   #3
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Your observation that when the chain needs to be lubed is correct from what I have observed. I have alway noticed an increase in noise.

If you spinningg the crank backward and the chain moves around you might want to check your RD adjustments. I have always noticed that if the RD is adjusted dead on, spinning the crank backwards does not cause the chain to derail on the cluster. For me that is an additional check that the RD is adj spot on. That includes making sure the "B" screw is properly adjusted also.
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Old 09-26-13, 07:36 AM   #4
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When your chain needs lubing, search is your friend.
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Old 09-26-13, 08:39 AM   #5
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Oh, come on! I'm sure there is still plenty of ground to be covered concerning chains, lubrication, best practices, etc.

I find it a fascinating subject. Just last night, while dining with some new friends at a nice restaurant, I held forth on the essentials of chain lubrication for quite some time. Every thing was going great until one of my new friends seemed to fall asleep and ended up face first in the potatoes au gratin.

That was rude!
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Old 09-26-13, 10:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sreten View Post
Hi,

This isn't for the obsessive types, quite the opposite.

I've noticed a few things for when my chain needs lubing,
and if any of them apply IMO you should lube your chain :
(and your derailleur pulleys if applicable)

Generally in order of things getting worse :

1) It starts to makes more noise than nice and quiet
2) The cranks don't spin backwards as easily
3) Spinning backwards moves the derailleur cage

(Things carry on getting worse with no lube ...)

Some of this can be muck as well, I guess I attempt some cleaning
with WD40 as well as lubing 1 out of 2 or 1 out of 3 times depending
on the weather and what ground I've been riding through recently.

Spate of wet weather recently, and my folder went from 1) to 2)
without making the level of noise I'd normally lube it in good
weather, that avoids 2) happening. Live and learn I guess.
First really bad weather patch I've ridden it through.
Bike is covered in crap. The chain is oily pristine.

Keep your chain lubed .......

rgds, sreten.
Each item you list can be caused by multiple things other than the chain. The chain can be noisier due to poor adjustment, cranks can spin backward harder due to bearing adjustment, freewheel or pulley resistance, or simply because one is checking in a different gear. The cage can move due to stiff links (which often are not helped with lubrication) stiff pulleys, or resistance in the freewheel/cassette.

The noise hint is OK, but should be noted that it's overall noise, not a particular gear combo. Squeaking of the chain means you've gone way too far or have water contamination as well. The other excellent indicator is if the rollers become particularly shiny, especially if one uses a "dry" lube.

As for WD-40, it's a great way to rinse contamination into the chain, not so great for flushing it out without using copious amounts, and then has to be followed by regular lube, which is not good at flushing out remaining WD-40. I've always found that simply re-lubing with the same lube is the best route, and cleaning thoroughly if contamination gets too bad.
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Last edited by cny-bikeman; 09-26-13 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 09-26-13, 11:37 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
Each item you list can be caused by multiple things other than the chain.
Hi,

True and lubing won't fix it if it is. If you lubed last week its unlikely to be lubing.
If you're a bit slack on the lubing I think my symptoms for that are fair enough.

rgds, sreten.

I'm assuming most people can tell "the chain needs lubing" issues from
other issues not related to lubing. Like the sort of rear noise you get.

Last edited by sreten; 09-26-13 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 09-30-13, 10:29 AM   #8
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Lubed mine yesterday... Today's commute was in Stealth Mode (TM).
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Old 09-30-13, 10:34 AM   #9
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When My chain needs lubing, I add Lubrication​..


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Old 09-30-13, 10:47 AM   #10
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When My chain needs lubing, I add Lubrication​..
That's just too complicated for me...
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Old 09-30-13, 05:41 PM   #11
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WD40 is the Devil's pee! It does several things poorly, none well. Lose it.

Discussions of chain lube are religious in nature and should only be entered into in a peaceful and accepting state of mind. The term "Extreme Unction" refers to lubing a very dry and noisy chain.
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Old 09-30-13, 08:10 PM   #12
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WD40 is the Devil's pee! It does several things poorly, none well. Lose it.

Discussions of chain lube are religious in nature and should only be entered into in a peaceful and accepting state of mind. The term "Extreme Unction" refers to lubing a very dry and noisy chain.
Which WD40 product are you referring to? http://www.wd40bike.com/ http://wd40.com/ Ommmmm.......................
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Old 10-01-13, 12:53 AM   #13
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Nope. My bike has never been so dirty that spinning my chain backwards was anything less than smooth. Dirty yes. Noisy, a bit. But always well oiled and moving smoothly.
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Old 10-01-13, 05:48 AM   #14
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Old 10-01-13, 06:01 AM   #15
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WD40 is the Devil's pee! It does several things poorly, none well. Lose it.

Discussions of chain lube are religious in nature and should only be entered into in a peaceful and accepting state of mind. The term "Extreme Unction" refers to lubing a very dry and noisy chain.
Exactly! Use good ol fashioned brake cleaner. And then a lube that's not going to attract dirt like a magnet.
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